An open letter to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo DutertePosted: October 10, 2014
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
I am a firm advocate of Federalism in the Philippines. I believe it will facilitate across the country the bottom up governance that have made LGUs like Davao so successful while the country as a whole only remains average at best. Internationally, Federalism per se has proven to be an ideal system: the age of the mayors, with their grassroots level management, is dawning; and it was thanks to its federalist system that Belgium remained stable in spite of months without a central government. Malaysia, which is similar to us in its being non-contingent, is the best example of how a diverse, archipelagic Malay nation will thrive best if all sociopolitical entities are sitting on the table of power as equals. Senate Majority Leader Cayetano himself denounced the anomalous overallocation of budget to the NCR and to Metro Manila in particular. Federalism is key to checking Imperial Manila.
And I could only welcome your public support for the system’s adoption to the Philippines. We could ask for no firmer, more credible, and more prominent voice for the movement. Your integrity, with your candidness to admit the skulduggery this system has forced you to condescend to engage in, is equally unparalleled in Philippine politics.
But it would not be surprising if Manila ignores you, you are after all from outside of Imperial Manila.
I am also a staunch environmentalist. It is a point of pride for me that my two hometowns of Davao and Kidapawan are natural breeding grounds for the Philippine Eagle, and Davao itself remains the greenest of the country’s three primate cities. Such success in sustainable management of natural resources can only be possible under a local government committed to protecting the environment.
And you, sir, are by far the toughest environmentalist in the country. Your objection to the coal fired powerplant is a luminary local government policy in Philippine environmentalism. In spite of Davao’s vast forests, illegal logging in the city remains insignificant because illegal loggers are afraid of you. Illegal miners are similarly too scared of you to scar our mountainsides. You even threatened to chop off someone’s head if they cut down the trees in Dacudao avenue. And yes sir, like you we don’t give a f*cking sh*t about anyone who would litter in Davao for the pathetic excuse of livelihood. A living can be made without pollution.
And that says nothing of your record in maintaining peace and order. While the national government has struggled for decades to contain the communist and Muslim insurgencies you use the NPA in Davao to monitor illegal logging and you make Davao the sanctuary for possible victims of clan wars in Muslim Mindanao. It is thanks to you that we don’t have a Lumad armed militia in the area like Cordillera.
But you can only do so much in terms of Federalism, Environmentalism, and Peace and Order as a local government official. Imperial Manila, self entitled and egotistic that it is, will continue to ignore your stands. The powers-that-be there will maintain the unitary system that is so imbalanced in their favour both politically and fiscally. When it is Manila interest to exploit the natural resources from other regions, a city mayor can do nothing about it. And they’ve been ignoring your repeated warnings about excluding Nur Misuari in the peace talks. They have not listened, they are not listening, and they definitely will not listen, to you, to us outside of Imperial Manila, and to anything that threatens their interest.
For you to make the Philippines a Federal country, sir, and for you to make it as environmentally sustainable and peaceful as Davao, you must be President of the Philippines. Your ideals sir are noble, but ideals without power are futile. You know that best. You must be in Manila to shake up this country that has long been clamouring to be shaken. You must be there to keep us a green nation as we enter an age of rapid economic growth. You must be there in this time of growing threat from Islamic militants from the Middle East – God and the universe are knocking on your door already, calling you to be the catalyst of a new sociopolitical revolution in the country, one whereby the local governs the national, the environment finally takes top priority, and peace and order is maintained with tough conviction.
You have to be President. We want you. We need you. And by God we deserve no one less than you.
(Or you could run as Vice President under Jejomar Binay then we’ll get rid of him early in his term. Mar Roxas could return to the Senate, be Senate President, then become V.P. once you assume the presidency. Make a deal with the Liberals, they’re good at these things. Good plan eh?)